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12 Intelligent Kids Who Have Made History

Kathleen Marshall
Dec. 2, 2015

Introduce your children to these intelligent kids and inspire them to follow their dreams.

Every kid has a special gift, talent or ability, but some kids are just flat-out amazing. Check out the accomplishments of some truly intelligent kids, and how their work has changed the world:

  1. NASA Researcher
    Kim Ung-yong, now in his fifties, made the Guinness Book of World Records for his IQ of 210. At age two, he could speak English, German, Korean and Japanese fluently; by age five, he was doing calculus. At the ripe old age of eight, he was invited to the United States by NASA. There, he was a senior researcher by the time he was 15 years old.

  2. Chess Grandmaster
    Ray Robson started playing chess when he was three years old. In 2009, just before he turned 15, Ray was named the youngest grandmaster of the United States Chess Federation -- that's younger than famed Bobby Fischer.

  3. Cancer Researcher
    High school sophomore Jack Andraka seemed like a regular 15-year-old boy from Maryland, but he created a method to detect pancreatic cancer, which is notoriously deadly and difficult to find. His test can also detect ovarian and lung cancer in five minutes, and costs only pennies. These days, he is working with nanobots that kill cancer cells.

  4. Lawyer
    Kathleen Holtz started college at age 10 at California State University in Los Angeles. When she was 15, she entered law school, and then went on to become the youngest lawyer in the country at age 18.

  5. Nobel Peace Prize Nominee
    Gregory Smith graduated cum laude from Randolph-Macon College in Virginia when he was only 14. He earned a master's degree in mathematics and minored in history and biology. He met both President Bill Clinton and former Soviet Union leader Mikhail Gorbachev when he was 16. He was nominated for a Nobel Peace Prize -- four times.

  6. Astrophysics Researcher
    Diagnosed with Asperger's Syndrome, young Jacob Barnett defies expectations and could be in line for a Nobel Peace Prize at the age of 17. He was the youngest student to ever be admitted to the Perimeter Institute, where he studied theoretical physics. Learn about Asperger's and other types of autism in Understanding the 5 Types of Autism.

  7. Surgeon
    Akrit Pran dreamed of finding the cure for cancer when he was 12. This may not seem as lofty a goal when you learn that he performed his first surgery at the age of seven, making him the youngest surgeon in the world.

  8. Social Entrepreneur
    Dylan Mahalingam co-founded a non-profit organization called Lil' MDGs when he was only nine years old. Lil' MDGs helps children around the world by working to reduce poverty, improve education and childhood health, and ensure environmental stability.

  9. Nobel Prize Winner
    Malala Yousafzai is an author who works for educational equality for young women in Pakistan. Because of her determination to educate girls, she was sought out and shot in the head in 2012. In 2013, on her 16th birthday, she gave a speech to the United Nations. When she was 17, she became the youngest person to be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize.

  10. Innovator of the Year
    Nick D'Aloisio didn't inherit his fortune. He earned it by creating an app that optimizes news stories for iPhones, and then selling it to Yahoo for a cool $30 million. His technical abilities also earned him the title of Innovator of the Year by the Wall Street Journal in 2014.

  11. Social Media Maven
    Juliette Brindak drew the cute characters that would inspire Miss O & Friends, a safe, inspiring social-media platform for tween girls, when she was 10 years old. She launched the site when she was 16, and by the time she was 19, the site was worth $15 million -- and it's still growing.

  12. CEO
    Leanna Archer created her hair-product business when she was nine by giving baby-food jars of her products (mixed up by her grandmother) to her friends at school. Today, her company profits $100,000 a year. But she doesn't just run a successful company. She is also a motivational speaker for youth, and in 2008, she founded the Leanna Archer Education Foundation to help provide educational opportunities for children in Haiti.

What kind of amazing goals do your intelligent kids have? Tell us about them in the comments!

Kathleen Marshall has 5 intelligent kids of her own who have grown up to be amazing adults. She now enjoys her grandchildren and her Wisconsin homestead.

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